Monday, December 29, 2014

natural birth mondays: preparing your body

Real talk: I am not a health freak. At all. I eat what I want, when I want, and hardly ever exercise. God blessed me with good genes and an adequate metabolism.

I don't say that to glorify my life or say by any means that it's good to live like that. It's just what I've always done and it's hard to shake!

I just wanted to preface this post with that little nugget of info because I want you to know my frame of reference when I talk about ways to prepare your body for birth. I'm not going to be the 8 months pregnant woman hiking 5 miles every morning and eating a perfectly balanced diet. I'm just not. I'm looking for practical things I can easily fit into my life to prepare my body to get this baby out the old fashioned way!

When doing my research (which sounds way too offish for me haha), I found some things that I seriously loved!

One of which is sense association. The idea here is really basic. Choose some things that you think will help you relax during labor. "Practice" relaxing with them regularly through your pregnancy and when the time for labor comes, your body should naturally be more relaxed when your use the items because your brain associates them with relaxation. For me, that would be my playlist, full of worship music to keep my mind focused on God, and lavender oil. I've already been listening to my playlist a lot (actually, I am right now!) and use lavender oil in the evening to calm down. I'm hoping these will treat me well in the spring!

Another one that I used all the time when I was pregnant with Reuben was my exercise ball! The week before I had him, I even brought it to work and replaced my office chair with it because I was determined to get him locked, loaded, and ready to go! I might've looked ridiculous, but I bounced, wiggled, and swayed on that thing at least 8 hours a day and dilated another cm and effaced another 25% in 6 days. I don't think that was purely a coincidence! Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to sit up straight, spread your hips, and allows plenty of space for baby to get nice and cozy and positioned well.

Walking and squatting were two physical things I saw over and over again. Talk about manageable, especially in the spring. They both help baby work its way down and also help with the physical endurance and strength labor will demand. Both seem like something I could easily work into my daily routine. I may even do a squat challenge starting in March and try and make it fun!

I saved the best and craziest for last. Eating dates, y'all! Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. I read about it in a group I'm in on facebook and women were swearing by it so I had to check it out for myself. I found this study and was blown away by the facts! Now, I do understand it was a small sampling of women, but the results are enough to convince me it's worth a shot! The study showed women who ate 6 dates every day the last 4 weeks before their estimated due date had significantly shorter early stages of labor, were checked in further along in dilation, had stronger bags of water (kinda gross, but good!), lower use of pitocin, and a higher chance of going into spontaneous labor. I've got zero idea why they work and I don't entirely care. I may not even like the way they taste, but I can choke down 6 a day if it ups my chance of all those good things!

There were several others like teas, acupuncture, and oils/vitamin supplements that I probably won't really look into since I either don't like them or can't afford them.

But I seriously feel like the few things I did find will really help give me a head start on the birth I want!

What are some things you did before labor and delivery that you felt really helped? I'd love to check them out!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry christmas!

From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry Christmas! 

Gather 'round, ye children, come
Listen to the old, old story
Of the pow'r of Death undone
By an infant born of glory
Son of God, Son of Man

Gather 'round, remember now
How creation held its breath
How it let out a sigh
And it filled up the sky with the angels
Son of God, Son of Man

So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God, but He made Himself nothing
He gave up His pride and He came here to die
Like a man
-Gather Round Ye Children Come by Andrew Peterson

Monday, December 22, 2014

natural birth mondays: the basics

I've got (theoretically) 19 more Mondays until baby girl gets here. I'm working hard on learning all that I can about natural, unmedicated birth and what it will take to accomplish that. There's so much more to it than I realized!

I thought it would be good for me (and you!) if I shared it all here. It always helps me to put what I learn into my own words. I feel like it helps it stick and fully sink in to the little crevices of my brains.

Obviously, I am NO medical professional and have been/will continue to talk with my midwives about all of this. These posts will be based on research based with my opinions that will help me draw to my own conclusions. I hope you find them useful, encouraging, and simple to understand. BUT I encourage you to use it as a part of your research. Do some for yourself and come to your own conclusions! That way when the going gets tough, you can go back to what you know and believe about birth and stick it out!

These are just a few topics I figured I'd cover:

  • Preparing Your Body
  • Doulas
  • Birth Partners
  • OB vs. Midwife
  • Positioning and Movement
  • Pain Management Options
  • Interventions
  • Skin To Skin Contact
  • Delayed Cord Clamping
I may throw in more or combine a few, but I'm really looking forward to diving into this with you guys! Let me know if there are any specific topics you'd like to see covered!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

new camera=more real pictures!

Clint and I decided to take the money his parents were going to use on us and put it with the money we'd spend on each other and get a nice-ish camera. We really love it so far, and it's nice to have one that will auto focus since our last one is on the fritz. It works about 70% of the time, so we're hoping we can sell it for a little something and recoup some of what we spent on this one. We'll see!

I've been having a LOT of fun with the new one, though! It's so fun to capture our every day lives with something nicer than an iphone.

We spent some time with our friends celebrating "friendsgiving" when we were in Nashville last weekend and we snapped this one there. I just can't believe how big this kid is getting. He LOVES wearing his hood and always asks to have it on, even if the jacket he's got on doesn't have one. haha

We've seriously cut back on his use of our phones because the amount of times he'd ask for them throughout the day was getting ridiculous. He'd spend most of his time on educational apps and has learned a lot of animal names and noises (which are always entertaining), but for the most part, he only gets it for very short times if we've offered it to him. His concentration face cracks me up though!

We got a cuddly Elf on a Shelf for right now, and kid is LOVING IT. He'll come downstairs every morning and get excited when he sees "Felf" and plays with him regularly throughout the day giving him water and sharing snacks. I know, I know, the kid isn't supposed to touch the elf or else he'll lose his magic. But honestly, I'm not too keen on the idea of him behaving just for presents from Santa, so I'm not sure we'll emphasize that part. I see the elf evolving more of a fun guy who comes to live with us for the month of December and likes to do crazy things while Reuben's asleep. Of course, Felf is pretty boring right now because Reuben is too little to understand funny stuff and mama is too lazy to think of fun things when sitting him on the couch is thrilling enough for a 21 month old!

The places I find him nowadays crack me up. And no matter now easy it may be for him to get down, he'll always look at me with a smirk and say "Mama, 'tuck." and want me to get him down. If I'm feeling particularly nice I'll grab him and get some snuggles before letting him down, but the boy somehow miraculously knows how to climb down himself if I'm doing something else. It's amazing. ;-)

We made cookies the other day and this was about as happy as it got. Reuben was in to everything and was over it before the dough was even done. He then decided he HAD to have his craisins leftover from school the week before and threw an absolute hissy fit the last half of me rolling and cutting them out. 

I'm loving this phase of our lives and I'm so happy we've got a camera to capture the sweet moments!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

it's a...

We're a little over a week into knowing and I'm still having the hardest time believing it!

Finding out was actually hilarious. Clint and I went in convinced we were having another boy. He was sure his family only makes boys and I really wanted Reuben to have a brother. So we started the ultrasound and watched the baby practice breathing, wiggle all around, and even look like it was yelling at us face on. Finally, we told the tech we were ready to know. She got the screen centered on where we'd be able to see the goods, but baby was being proper and not showing anything. It stayed like that for a couple minutes and the tech decided to change the direction the wand was pointing.

When she did that, Clint said "What were we told at Reuben's gender scan? Something like a hamburger or three lines means a girl?" And right at that moment the tech went "Yea, that's what you look for. One. Two. Three." as she drew arrows to point to the three lines so clearly showing up on the screen. We both went "WHAT?!?!" and then immediately asked her to double check. We were in shock!

Since then, it's sunk in a little more. A name is picked out (I may put it on here eventually), a few outfits are bought, and we're just overall getting used to the idea of having a daughter. I'm honestly a bit freaked out, but I know the Lord intended this baby specifically for our family and I can't wait to meet her!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

vbac thoughts

This baby was such a surprise that I think I'm still kind of in shock about it. I'm 3.5 weeks away from being halfway through (theoretically, of course) and I'm just now getting my head wrapped around the fact that this baby has to come out. And I am honestly oh-so-ready for that to happen based on how I've been feeling lately! 

Reuben's birth was nothing like I'd had planned. I had a whole birth plan that was full of naturally minded birth things and not many, if any, interventions. I ended up with a non-emergent but really, really needed to happen very quickly c-section and a 5 day hospital stay thanks to HELLP syndrome.

Almost two years later, I stand by the fact that I fully needed that to happen to save our lives and I'm so thankful for modern medicine.


I do NOT want another csection. I felt miserable afterwards, couldn't get out of bed on my own for weeks or lay on anything but my back for months, and had a really hard time getting breastfeeding going. Not to mention we'd like the option to have four children and doctors frown upon having a 4th csection. I don't want a voluntary procedure to determine the number of children I can have. I've found a group of midwives here who I've heard wonderful things about and fully support an attempt at a VBAC and I'm so thankful for that and excited about that option. My OB in Nashville said that I have an 85-90% chance of being successful, which is super encouraging.

All that said, I'm absolutely terrified too! This time my plan is to have absolutely zero interventions because I know every intervention I have raises my chance to have another csection. That plan is fine and dandy and I totally get it mentally, but physically I'm terrified of the pain! I never felt a single contraction with Reuben and I have ZERO idea what to expect! 

As the time draws closer, I'll be researching more and more and plan on sharing what I'm finding and any sort of prep I'm doing. I look forward to sharing with you guys!

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape, or form look down on women who choose to have repeat csections! As a mama it is YOUR choice to do what is best for YOU and I would never shame that. These are just my personal opinions on VBACs. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

boy or girl?

We find out if we're going to be having another rough and tumble boy or if we're going to be adding some pink and glitter to our house on Thursday! It feels like this pregnancy is flying by, but I'm for that because I'm ready to have baby here already. The anticipation is killing me!

Oh, just for fun, here's a little "bumpdate" from this weekend. 16 weeks and moving right along!

I figured it'd be fun to look at some old wive's tales to see what we could be having and then compare on Friday!

Carrying high or low?

Baby's heart rate?

Boy/Girl (It depends on the day. Sometimes I'd kill for cheese dip and chips and other times I MUST have a milkshake.)

Chinese birth chart?


Ring on a string test?

Morning sickness?


So basically these tests are about as sure of the gender as I am. One thing's for sure. There's a baby in the movin' and shakin' and in 48ish hours, we'll know what it is!

Did YOU just know what you were having or were you like me and only sure of the fact it was a baby? :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

clean house = happy stephanie.

On a normal Tuesday or Thursday, you'd find me sitting on my couch, avoiding doing some household chore like dishes, laundry, or even just pick up Reuben's toys. I've had ZERO energy this pregnancy and you could totally tell by the state of my house. I'm not the most organized/put together person ever to begin with, but it was magnified by about a million these last couple of months.

So last night I had a totally crazy and novel idea. Like, I'm not sure if anybody has ever thought of this before in the history of the world. If I got everything cleaned up and put away before I went to bed, the next day I could TOTALLY relax and not feel guilty about not getting house things done.

Cue the angels singing.

Seriously, this is life changing. I've sat on the couch reading blogs, cooked some biscuits (and already cleaned up after that... WHAT?!), and am now planning on taking a nice long shower and a nap after I get done doing this.

Call it nesting, call it a turn around from laziness, call it what I should've been doing all along, I don't care what you call it. I'm just going to enjoy it for now!

Because I know the second Reuben gets home, it's all going down the drain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Wow. It's hard to believe I haven't written anything since August. It doesn't feel like it's been that long! It seems like not much has changed...


Lamberth baby #2 is on its way! It'll be here sometime in the spring, either April or May. We are beyond excited and thankful for this little guy/girl.

We find out what we're having in just 15 days! I can hardly believe it's almost that time already! I have absolutely zero idea what I think it is. I'd love a girl because pink, glitter, bows, ya know, girl stuff. Not to mention the mother-daughter relationship. BUT I so badly want Reuben to have a brother that I almost want this one to be a boy just so he's guaranteed to have one.

First trimester was a lot harder this time around. It was just so hard to not be able to rest like I wanted/needed to. Thankfully, I'm 14.5 weeks so I'm past that and feeling better already. We had a couple of scares with spotting, but thanks to God, everything is going perfect!

So besides adding to our family, things have been low key around these parts. Reuben and I spent a couple of weekends with my parents in Nashville while Clint had really busy weekends. I just wasn't up for being home alone with Reuben 24/7 for 3-4 days straight when I could hard pick him up I was so tired. We had a lot of fun while home and Reuben had some great times on the farm.

Halloween was a blast here, too! Reuben was finally old enough to trick or treat and have fun in a costume. We found a handmade puppy costume for only $5 at Goodwill and after a quick run through the washer and dryer, it was like new! We went to Boo at the Zoo at the Knoxville Zoo first, and that wasn't a hit. It was too late in the day and he was just too young to really have a ton of fun and it was CROWDED. We'll go again next year since it was only $5 for zoo members and he'll be older, but we probably could've skipped it this year.

On actual Halloween night, we went to a trunk or treat at a local church and it was PERFECT. It started at 5:30, All of the cars were in one parking lot, and we were in and out in about 20 minutes. He loved it and had "trick or treat" down by the end of it. Or should I say "tri treee" instead. ;-)

I miss this space. There's so much Reuben is doing and so many things going on in our lives I want to remember all in one place. I'll be back often :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

the end of an era

Who woulda thunk that the very last time I'd breastfeed Reuben would be the last day of World Breastfeeding Week?!

We'd been doing the "don't ask, don't offer" thing for the last few months because I was kind of over it, but I could tell he wasn't. We were down to a definite morning session that was basically his coffee. He was groggy and angry until he was done. And every once in a while he'd ask for it throughout the day and depending on how I was feeling, I may oblige.

Then, Monday morning he woke up at 4AM and didn't ask to nurse like he normally would have and then when we got up for good, he asked for it while I was facetiming with my parents, I said no, and he hasn't asked since!

I can't believe almost 18 months of nursing is done, just like that. I'm 99% ok with it, since I was ready to be done anyways, but the other 1% of me can't believe my baby doesn't need me in that way anymore. He just wants to "cuggle", which I love, but anybody can do that with him. It's just more proof that my baby is well on his way to becoming a little boy.

And I LOVE it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

stomach bugs are for the birds.

Do birds even get stomach bugs?

I sure wouldn't wish it on them if they don't.

Reuben had one this week and it was disgusting and pitiful. No throwing up, thankfully, but pleeeenty of other things happened and it was just gross. Not the more glorious of mom weeks.

A WHOLE lot of cuddling was had.

Praise the Lord for Netflix. Daniel Tiger, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Tinkerbell movies got us through. The Tinkerbell movies may've just been for me ;-)

We survived though and now he's a ravenous pig, eating everything in sight! That's a good thing because the boy was getting noticeably skinnier.

Ohhhhh the life of a mom.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

the little gym

Once I found out we were moving to Knoxville, I decided to try to find some good mom groups and resources to learn more about the area. I, of course, went to Facebook and just searched "knoxville mom" and stumbled upon the Knoxville Moms Blog.

YES! I love Knoxville. I love moms. I love blogs. Therefore, I will love this.

So I started following them and noticed they had an awesome giveaway going on so I decided to enter and ended up winning! Part of the prize was a week of camp at The Little Gym but once I realized the camps don't start until 3 years old, they were gracious to switch it out to a month of weekly mommy-and-me gym classes.

I got SO excited on the morning of our first class. I put him in his "gold medalist in training" shirt for kicks and giggles and majorly talked it up to him.

Unfortunately, the smile was short-lived.

The kid LOST it. Like panicky screams and clinging to me like a spider monkey. That made circle time really fun for everyone...

Once the circle time stuff was over, I worked him down my body to where he was just clinging to my leg and eventually pried him off of that too and he slooooowly started wandering around. He found a mat he could step on and off of over and over again and was loving life. He still wasn't a fan of doing anything we were supposed to be doing, but he wasn't screaming so we just let him do what he wanted.

Then. the BALLS.

All was right in the world after that.

After the balls and a little more ignored circle time, it was time to go home and he was OUT in seconds.

This Saturday was our second class.

It was night and day, y'all!

He loved every single second of it. He participated in every single activity and had a smile on his face the whole time.

We've got two classes left and I can't wait to see how much more he grows to love it in that time!

Monday, June 30, 2014

SAHM life

Since our move, we've reworked our budget to allow me to stay at home with Reuben. It's something I've wanted for his entire life, but we couldn't make it happen at our previous jobs because of the cost of insurance. Apparently you need that stuff or something.

Anyways, it's mostly been a dream come true.

We play in fountains.

We visit dad at work and destroy his bookshelf.

We go on playdates.

We visit the Disney store way too much.

We got to a mommy-and-me gymnastics class (more on that later because it's awesome!).

And we explore outside.

It really is such a joy to be with him all day. It's trying, for sure, but I wouldn't trade this season for anything!

Friday, June 27, 2014


Whew, I've missed this place! 

Since moving to Knoxville, I've hardly had any access to a computer. I love blogging and all, but not enough to type one out on my phone. That'd take for-ev-er.

We finally closed on the house (YAY!) and used some of that money to buy me a new computer (DOUBLE YAY!) so now I'm ready to get back in the swing of things.

Knoxville is wonderful and we're so happy here! I'm officially a full time stay at home mom after 15 months of working, so it's taking some getting used to, but we're finding out footing. I've felt like a truck hit me the last couple of days so there's been a LOT of movie watching going on. I know every word to every song of The Lorax.

But seriously, we're loving it. I'm so excited to keep this up to date now!

Friday, May 23, 2014

best. photographs. ever.

Amelia Moore has done all of our photographs for the last 3.5 years.

Our wedding.

Our first anniversary.

My pregnancy.

and Reuben's newborn days.

We wanted to get one more session in with her before we moved. She reccomended going down to Riverside Park so we could get some in front of the skyline to remember our beloved Nashville.

You guys.

I'm BLOWN AWAY with how amazing they are!

I'm SO in love with them and can't wait to print them all out and cover the walls of our new little town house with them!

If you live in the Nashville area and are looking for a photographer, I HIGHLY recommend Amelia. Check out more of her work HERE!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

life lately

This strange season has been full of a lot of repetition.

A lot of outside time.

A lot of mug making.

A lot of hanging out in my room while I get ready and playing with necklaces to stay entertained.

A lot of baths. Boys are apparently naturally stinky.

A lot of laughing.

A lot of time at Papa B and Bella's. Home gets boring.

And a whole lot of missing Dada.

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